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Behind the Lens
06/12/2018

Yamaha Motor Canada Presents Behind the Lens From Prince George

On a cold and rainy day just outside Prince George, BC, the riders and teams of the 2018 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour Series gathered for Round 3. With the first two rounds of this new series taking place on very dry tracks, Round 3 and its sloppy conditions would certainly present a new set of challenges to everyone. Also, not only was the Blackwater MX Track muddy to start off the day, but a few of the circuit’s challenging features would also keep the riders on their toes.

Last year, the Prince George National provided fans with some of the most exciting racing of the year. The final corner pass that Christophe Pourcel made on Matt Goerke to win Moto 2 will go down as perhaps the greatest pass in Canadian motocross history. For 2018, the adverse conditions once again didn’t stop the racing from being exciting. As I mentioned above, with its steep elevation changes and challenging layout, the Blackwater MX Track is a throwback circuit that almost every rider enjoys racing. To be successful on this track a rider must charge like a mad man on the downhill, remain smooth and calm on the uphill, and of course nail all of the corners on their two-plus minute lap.

Coming into Round 3, Colton Facciotti had won three of the first four 450 motos, while Jess Pettis had done the same in the 250 Pro/Am class. These two riders had just about everything go their way, and we’re sure they expected the same in Prince George. However, as we’ve witnessed so many times over the years in outdoor motocross, things can change very quickly. For Facciotti and Pettis, Round 3 ended up being one that we’re sure they’d like to forget as neither cracked the Top 5. While these two struggled on the Blackwater track, Kaven Benoit and Dylan Wright stepped up and took center stage in the 450 class and the 250 Pro/Am class. It was Benoit’s first win in two years, and Wright’s first win since last season. With the proverbial monkey off of their backs, now it will be interesting to see if they can taste victory again in the coming weeks.

The MXTour moves east to Manitoba for Round 4, before beginning the final five eastern rounds of the 2018 series. As it stands currently, Facciotti still carries the red plate in the 450 class, while Shawn Maffenbeier will dawn the red plate in the 250 class for the first time this summer. For this week’s Yamaha Motor Canada Behind the Lens, we take a look back at some incredible James Lissimore photos from Round 3 in Prince George.

The Blackwater MX Track was peaceful, quiet and wet on the morning of Round 3.
The uphill sandy start straight provided the riders and their machines with quite the challenge.
Kaven Benoit wasn’t the only person happy after his big win at Round 3.
After battling through numerous injuries during the past year, it was great to see Kaven Benoit back on top of the 450 class podium.
After two very dry rounds to begin the 2018 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour, rain dominated the forecast in Prince George.
Marco Cannella continued his solid rookie season with a Top 5 finish at Round 3.
Trying to stay clean and maintain good vision was the name of the game on the muddy Blackwater Track.
After winning three of the first four motos in the 450 class, Colton Facciotti struggled in Prince George and would finish outside of the Top 5.
Michigan rider Joey Crown has had a great series thus far in the 250 Pro/Am class. At Round 3, Crown once again found his way onto the podium.
On the rough and challenging Blackwater Track, we finally got a glimpse of Dillan Epstein’s aggression and raw speed.
Matt Goerke won the opening 450 moto in dominating fashion. Unfortunately, a crash in Moto 2 relegated him to second overall on the day.
Goerke was one of the few riders that appeared to love the wet and sloppy conditions of Round 3.
Hayden Halstead found his way into the spotlight at Round 3 as he led the second 250 Pro/Am moto for two laps.
Snow bike god Brock Hoyer came out of pro motocross retirement in Prince George and battled with the series regulars in both motos.
In Moto 1 of the 250 Pro/Am class, Yamaha rider Casey Keast had a great ride as he finished up in 5th.
Even after struggling all day long in Prince George, Shawn Maffenbeier still was able to grab the red plate from his buddy Jess Pettis.
This is not what the riders had in mind when they chose to use roll-offs instead of tear-offs.
Josh Osby’s KTM wasn’t the only bike to run a little hot on Saturday.
Racing only 20 minutes from his house, Jess Pettis didn’t have the day he wanted at Round 3. His first moto DNF cost him any chance at the overall win, as well as the 250 Pro/ Am points lead.
Cole Thompson was happy and relaxed at Round 3 and would go on to once again finish in fourth overall.
As they did in 2017, the Prince George trophies will most likely take the award for the best of the series.
Tyler Medaglia once again rode like an absolute beast at Round 3 and almost won the second the 450 moto.
No big crazy jumps, no dangerous sections, the Blackwater track was just a rough old school track for Round 3. And the riders loved it.
After holeshotting the final 250 Pro/Am moto, Tanner Ward got taken out by an overly aggressive Josh Osby in the third turn.
Getting the bikes clean was the mechanics toughest task at Round 3. Here Cole Thompson’s KTM gets a bath at the end of the day.
After struggling through the first two rounds of the series, Dylan Wright was finally able to put it all together and win both motos in Prince George. Look for Wright to be very good on the softer tracks in the east.
To the victor goes the spoils. See everyone in Manitoba!

 

About this author

Chris Pomeroy

1989 Rookie-of-the-year and former nationally ranked pro racer who turned into a dirt oriented scribe

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